Is the fear of negative comments keeping you from social media endeavors? Are you concerned that if you put your brand “out there”, you might have feedback that is less than stellar, for all to see? If you already have a page or two, are you quick to delete anything that could be perceived as negative, because you are worried that others will see it?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? Fear not! Look at these as opportunities to not only tout your brand, but to engage in conversation with members, embrace opportunities to serve, and show the world how you make your members a priority and solve their problems.

Here’s an example of how a negative comment could actually work in your favor. We recently encountered a member post on our Facebook page. The member had waited for what he perceived to be too long for a new ATM card. He posted his displeasure on our Facebook page on Thanksgiving Day, and I (thankfully!) happened to check the page that afternoon.

I immediately responded that I understood and would be lost without my own card, and that I’d have someone from our contact center get in touch with him first thing Friday a.m. I made sure that happened, and they got him a new card right away. Well, he came back and re-posted on the page how great we took care of him and that he was “all set”. So- every single person that “likes” our page got to see how we made a member a top priority and solved his problem to his satisfaction. PRICELESS PR!

Social media is about having conversations, establishing your business as “the” expert in its field, and getting yourself in front of new, potential customers. But it can also be an opportunity to show how much you care about your current members. It is not only a marketing tool, it is a chance for you to learn what is important to those members and perhaps even learn about areas in which you can improve.

Terrie Mavros is electronic marketing specialist at the $332 million Bellwether Community Credit Union in Manchester, N.H.